Friday, June 18, 2021
Home Politics 'Reactionary Right' versus the 'Vikas Right': The churn in the Indian Rightwing and what...

‘Reactionary Right’ versus the ‘Vikas Right’: The churn in the Indian Rightwing and what it represents

The Vikas Right views Hinduism as a free-for-all laissez-faire affair where individuals are free to pursue spirituality however they deem fit. The Reactionary Right, on the other hand, considers Hinduism, like all other religions, to have a strict code of dos and don'ts that must be respected.

There’s a great churn happening in the Indian ‘rightwing’ today. Social media is rife with arguments that reveal a difference in opinion on the most fundamental of issues. Such differences have always existed but didn’t receive as much traction due to the prevailing political climate. However, as Narendra Modi’s hold over power strengthened more and more, such differences have come to the fore.

It’s not really a secret that there are multiple shades of ‘rightwing’ which, in reality, is much more aptly described as Non-Left. There is the ‘Cultural Right’, the ‘Liberal Right’, the ‘Economic Right’, the ‘Core Right’ and so and so. Broadly speaking, the Cultural Right and Core Right can be clubbed under one category as there is great overlap between the two while the other two can be clubbed together. For purposes of simplicity, we shall call the former ‘Mainstream Right’ and the other ‘Vikas Right’.

Then, there’s the ‘Reactionary Right’ which shares a lot in common with the ‘Mainstream Right’ but has a radical approach to politics and culture itself. It rejects the fundamental basis of modernity itself and lays the emphasis on traditional values and customs. Amidst all this chaos, there’s also the ‘Trad Right’, a prominent subsection of the Reactionary Right that has caused numerous arguments on social media. Often, the ‘Trad Right’ is also involved in virulent arguments with sections of the ‘Cultural Right’ itself and other sections of the Reactionary Right.

There are numerous other divisions as well but for the purpose of simplicity, we shall limit it to these three divisions: The Mainstream Right, The Vikas Right, and the Reactionary Right. The churn in the rightwing is primarily driven by the confrontation between the Reactionary Right and the Vikas Right because both these factions largely agree with the concerns of the Mainstream Right.

The Vikas Right does harbor great sympathy and wishes to live according to western values such as liberalism and secularism. Their main grouse with the Left is that they do not adhere to ‘True Liberalism’ and ‘True Secularism’. They are not against liberalism or secularism per se. The Reactionary Right, on the other hand, completely rejects liberalism and secularism. They consider these to be deeply Christian values that should have no place in India.

The same goes for ideologies such as Feminism. While the Vikas Right voices its support for ‘True Feminism’, the Reactionary Right rejects it completely. Feminism, in all its forms, is considered to be a malaise to society. The same goes for individual liberty. While the Vikas Right believes in the rights and liberty of the individual, the Reactionary Right emphasizes on duty and believes that individual liberty cannot be the basis of a functional society.

There’s also a great difference between the two factions in the manner in which they view Hinduism. The Vikas Right views Hinduism as a free-for-all laissez-faire affair where individuals are free to pursue spirituality however they deem fit. The Reactionary Right, on the other hand, considers Hinduism, like all other religions, to have a strict code of dos and don’ts that must be respected.

The fundamental differences between the two factions were captured perfectly during a recent exchange on Twitter. The argument followed from an article published in Swarajya Mag where the author argued that we should attempt to maximize the economic benefits of our festivals. The essential argument was we should use our festivals as an engine to boost our economy.

Critics of monetising festivals and culture

The Reactionary Right, obviously, treated it with derision and was downright disgusted by the suggestion that our festivals which have deep religious significance should be treated as mere occasions to boost profits.

While the Vikas Right continues to dominate the rightwing intellectual space in the media and elsewhere, the churn in the rightwing and its narrative is dominated greatly by the Reactionary Right. While calls have been made to ostracise the Reactionary Right altogether, such efforts have proven to be utterly futile.

Despite objections from certain quarters, the narrative on the Right has continued to shift in favour of the Reactionary Right. For instance, it is nearly impossible now to be a ‘beefeater and proud’, unlike how it was only a couple of years ago or so.

One reason for this is that the opinions of the Reactionary Right are much more similar to the overwhelming majority of Hindus in India. It is a fact that most Hindus couldn’t care less about liberalism and secularism. It is a fact that such ideas have popularity only among a specific class of people. The vast majority of Indians do not care about such things.

The reasons for these differences go much deeper. The Vikas Right is made up mostly of people who grew up in an era of Western dominance. On the other hand, most of the Reactionary Right are younger and have grown up in an era of Western decadence. The manner in which Western society today is on the verge of collapse has had a great impact on how the Indian youth today perceives values such as liberalism and secularism.

The Reactionary Right has often been compared to the ‘AltRight’ in the United States, however, that is a wildly wrong comparison. The comparison isn’t justified for the same reason that clubbing Hinduism and Christianity together isn’t justified. One is based strictly on race while the other is based on religion and culture.

While there may be a significant difference of opinions between the Reactionary Right and Vikas Right, the fact of the matter is, the latter has paved the way for the former in more ways than one. It is as much due to the scathing criticism of the Left by the Vikas Right that the Reactionary Right got the opportunity to introduce more radical opinions into the debate.

While some people on the Vikas Right may be loathed to admit it but the fact of the matter is, the Reactionary Right has succeeded in shifting the ‘rightwing’ narrative further to the right with each successive turn. The ‘rightwing’ of today is much much further to the right than it was a couple of years ago.

The clearest evidence of it is the rise and rise of Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. Until 2015, he was a fringe figure often dubbed a Hindu extremist. In quite a remarkable turn of events, the same comments which resulted in him being branded as fringe by even the Indian rightwing were responsible to him becoming one of the most popular leaders of the BJP at the national level, arguably the third most popular leader after the Modi-Shah duo. And the one group on social media which played the biggest role in mainstreaming him was the Reactionary Right. Everyone else eventually came around to supporting him later on.

Going forward, one would hope that there will be a synthesis of sorts between the two camps. However, that appears to be unlikely. It remains to be seen how things pan out in the next few years or so. But one thing is for certain, these differences are irreconcilable.

Having said that, the Reactionary Right isn’t one uniform tent either. There are lots of separate and divergent factions within the ranks. Just as the rightwing at large can be defined by its opposition to the Left, the Reactionary Right can be defined by its opposition to the Vikas Right.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

K Bhattacharjee
Black Coffee Enthusiast. Post Graduate in Psychology. Bengali.

Related Articles

Trending now

‘Being targeted because I am Muslim’: SP leader Umed Idris plays victim card after giving Ghaziabad incident a communal spin

SP leader Umed Idris was booked by Ghaziabad police on May 17 for giving the Loni incident a communal spin in his Facebook video.

4 arrested in Hiranandani society fake vaccine scam, Tips Films, another production house were duped too: Reports

4 persons have been arrested by the Kandivali Police in the fake vaccination drive case. They have been sent to judicial custody till June 25.

Mukul Roy refuses to resign from assembly after defecting to TMC, Suvendu Adhikari petitions the speaker to disqualify him

Suvendu Adhilkari asks assembly speaker to disqualify Mukul Roy as per anti-defection law after Roy quite BJP to join TMC

‘Muslims must kill 4-6 persons before dying’: Congress’ new minority cell head Imran Pratapgarhi and his hate-filled ‘shayari’. Details

The newly appointed Congress minority cell head Imran Pratapgarhi is believed to be the favourite of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

FT refers to India as the ‘weakest link’ in the Quad. How their quoted expert denies conclusion and how they got it massively wrong

Quoting a few experts in foreign policy, FT declared that India is the 'weakest link' of the informal alliance as it had failed to provide necessary vaccines to the nations as it had agreed to in the Quad summit that was held in March.

UP: Woman alleges harassment, obscene messages by police officer in Sultanpur, SP orders investigation. Details of the case

After the case was highlighted on the social media, Sultanpur police have informed that they have suspended a constable involved in the case and the accused inspector has been ordered to report at the police lines.

Recently Popular

Pakistani audience go ballistic over Zee5 web series featuring Muslim girl-Indian Hindu boy love story, call it ‘haram’

The Pakistani web series features the love story between a Pakistani Muslim girl and Indian Hindu boy who have both lost their fathers to the conflict between the two nations.

Dhruv Rathee fans mark YouTuber Karolina Goswami for targeted harassment after she exposed his lies

After Karolina Goswami pointed out the factual errors and mistakes in the Dhruv Rathee video, Rathee's supporters have been harassing and abusing Goswami.

AAP celebrates Delhi’s new architectural marvel, the Moti Nagar speed breaker

AAP's Moti Nagar MLA has recently inaugurated a speed breaker, along with dozens of supporters flouting social distancing norms.

Ghaziabad fake hate crime case: Unmuted video of elderly man seconds before he was beaten up released. Watch

In the video, Abdul can be heard admitting that one Intezar sent some people to him to make the 'tabeez' (occult amulet) and put them in his spell as he had some work from them.

Republic TV issues statement over Arnab Goswami’s disappearance from the news network: Here is what they said

Arnab Goswami was last seen on May 2 during a discussion on West Bengal assembly polls. He will make a return on Monday.

Virtual hearing embarrassment: Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi caught attending the court proceedings without pants

Abhishek Manu Singhvi was caught attending court proceedings in boxer shorts when one of the screens accidentally fell off and showed the naked legs of the senior advocate
- Advertisement -


Connect with us